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Rosen urges supporters to help put Libertarians on ballot

Wendy Rosen is the Democratic candidate for Congress in Maryland's 1st District but the Cockeysville businesswoman was busy Friday campaigning for a Libertarian.

In an e-mail, Rosen's campaign implored supporters to sign a petition that would will help put Libertarian candidate Muir Boda on the ballot in November. Doing so, the e-mail said, would take votes away from incumbent Republican Rep. Andy Harris.

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"You can help me win this election by helping a third candidate enter the race," read the e-mail, which included a link to the state Libertarian Party's webpage. "Muir Boda is still short petition signatures for getting added to the ballot."

The Board of Elections ruled in 2011 that the party no longer met state standards to be on the ballot because it failed to win 1 percent of the vote in the most recent election. Now, party leaders are scrambling to collect thousands of signatures by Aug. 6 to lock in a spot on the ballot.

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A party spokesman told The Sun last week that Libertarians are "on track" to meet that deadline but would not discuss specifics.

Boda, a Salisbury resident, is an asset protection manager for Walmart and a former vice chair of state Libertarian party.

Third party candidates often do suck votes away from Republicans and Democrats and can have an impact in close races, though it's not clear Libertarians will have a big effect in the 1st District this year.

A Libertarian, Richard James Davis, was on the ballot in 2010 and captured about 4 percent of the vote. Despite that, Harris beat incumbent Democratic Rep.Frank M. KratovilJr. by more than 12 percentage points that year.

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